What is the significance of this passage in The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini?

“I noticed Wahid’s boys, all three thin with dirtcaked faces and short-cropped brown hair under their skullcaps, stealing furtive glances at my digital wristwatch... I unsnapped the wristwatch and gave it to the youngest of the three boys. He muttered a sheepish “Tashakor.”... “It tells you the time in any city in the world,” I told him. The boys nodded politely, passing the watch between them, taking turns trying it on. But they lost interest and, soon the watch sat abandoned on the straw mat... I understood now why the boys hadn’t shown any interest in the watch. They hadn’t been staring at the watch at all. They’d been staring at my food.

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This is a great question. This quotation comes from chapter nineteen of the book when Amir returns to Afghanistan to look for the son of Hasan to bring him back to the United States to atone for his "sins" of the past. In other words, Amir realizes that it is not too late to make things right and to stand up for what he believes in. So, with great courage, Amir returns to Afghanistan to look for the boy. 

He meets Wahid and Farid. He comes to Wahid's home and the men drink tea together. After a while, Wahid's wife comes in to bring food. The food is set before Amir and she states that the family had already eaten. All the while he realizes that the boys were looking at his watch. So, he gives it to them. However, they are not interested in it so much. He, then, realizes that they were looking at his food.  The boys were hungry.

This shows two things. First, it shows how much Afghanistan has changed with the arrival of the Taliban. The place is in shambles. Second, it shows that poverty of his old friends. Kabul is no longer the place it was before.

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